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Speak Up (ATOM Study Guide)

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    Synopsis

    Every year at the University of Saint-Denis, the Eloquentia tournament is held to decide 'The Best Orator in the 93'. '93' is the area code of greater Paris where Saint-Denis is located. Any student can participate and each has the opportunity to learn the art of public speaking with the help of professional advisors including lawyers, slam poets and theatre directors. As they hone the skill of speaking, out loud and in public, the students conquer their fears and affirm their talents. They also reveal themselves and their priorities in life to others. The aim is not just that the students prove to others what they can do, it is more that they prove it to themselves.

    Speak Up follows the students, who come from a variety of family backgrounds and academic disciplines, as they prepare for the competition. Most of the students have never spoken in public and for some French is not even their family's first language. What becomes apparent in the process, is that for each of the students, public speaking is a weapon of self-defence, allowing them to make a stand for themselves and others.

    The film begins during the tournament final, introducing lawyer and Eloquentia teacher Bertrand Périer, as he reminds the crowded auditorium about the power of speech in a society where freedom of speech is constantly under. Speak Up then flashes back to show the arduous but nevertheless rewarding training process.

    Curriculum Links

    Speak Up is suitable for students in Years 9–12.

    Years 9–10

    In Years 9–10, Speak Up is a relevant resource for meeting learning outcomes in:

    • English
    • Photographic and Digital Media
    • French
    • Personal Development, Health and Physical Education

    Years 11 and 12

    In Years 11 and 12, Speak Up is a relevant resource for meeting learning outcomes in:

    • English and English Life Skills
    • Human Society and Its Environment Life Skills
    • French
    • Society and Culture

    The Speak Up study guide:

    • invites students to share their responses to the stories told by the film;
    • asks students questions about the documentary as a film text;

    In completing the tasks, students will have demonstrated the ability to:

    • analyse the construction of a film and comment on the ways it represents an interpretation of ideas and experiences;
    • respond to a film both personally and in detached and critical ways;
    • discuss the social, cultural and historical values embodied in a film;
    • draw on appropriate metalanguage to discuss the structures and features of a film;
    • use their own written and spoken texts to explore concepts and ideas and to clarify their own and others' understanding.

    Teachers are advised to direct students to complete activities that are subject relevant and age appropriate. Teachers of French may direct students to complete responses in French rather than English.

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